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General instructions for installing fonts in X-windows

Assuming that you have created a new directory, e.g., ~/grfonts and put the fonts file in it as you downloaded it from HR-Net you must follow these steps in order to install the new fonts in your X-window system:
  1. Once you have the compressed fonts archive (usually ending in .tar.gz) you first need to extract the font files. If you have the gnu version of tar you may do this in a single step with the command
     tar xzf fontfile.tar.gz
    
    substituting the correct filename for fontfile, of course. If the above command reports that z is an unknown option then you don't have gnu tar so you do the same thing in two steps, first decompressing the archive and then extracting the files:
     gunzip fontfile.tar.gz
     tar xf fontfile.tar
    
    This should produce a set of font files, usually ending in .bdf

  2. In order to compile the fonts for your system you issue the command mkfontdir in the fonts directory. Check that a file fonts.dir is produced with the current date and time.

  3. You must then inform the system to include this directory in its list of directories containing fonts. The command
     xset fp+ `pwd`
    
    should take care of that. BE CAREFUL WITH THE SYNTAX!!! " ` " is a backquote, NOT a " ' " If it fails try substituting the full path name of the directory for `pwd` and if you get an error message about "parameter out of range" and "opcode of failed request" you are probably in trouble because your system takes its fonts from another machine (remote font server) so it is the other machine where your new fonts must be installed. See the previous page for instructions.

  4. Use the command xset q to check whether your new font directory shows up in the directory list. If it does, it only remains to let the system know about the new fonts themselves by looking at the specified font directories. This is done with the command
     xset fp rehash
    
    That's it! Your new fonts are now installed and any programs that look for them can now use them.

    If you have any problems, please read I still cannot read greek.

    Once the installation is successfully completed you may erase the tar file to save space. You may also put the xset commands in your .xinitrc file so that the fonts will be available to you each time you enter the system. Don't forget to use the full pathname to the font directory.

    Back to the X fonts page


    HR-Net, 12 July 1998
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